Edinburgh Napier University student goes global with idea that combats climate anxiety

Edinburgh Napier University product design graduate Rachel Naysmith has won international recognition for a project which rewards good environmental deeds and helps combat climate anxiety.

By Caitlyn Dewar
Thursday, 19th November 2020, 7:00 am
Recent graduate Product Design, Rachel Naysmith
Recent graduate Product Design, Rachel Naysmith

M.O.S.S. – My Own Sustainable Self – has been selected for the Global Grad Show, an initiative by the Art Dubai Group which showcases 100 potentially world-changing ideas.

The newly-opened exhibition, normally hosted in Dubai but being held online this year due the Covid-19 pandemic, attracted 1600 applications from 270 universities in 60 countries.

Rachel’s work, features alongside ideas like a diabetes monitoring earring, a London Underground air pollution solution, an alternative to Styrofoam made of food waste, a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome prevention device and a skin patch that monitors nutrition data.

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Rachel's mock website for M.O.S.S

Rachel, 23, of Insch, Aberdeenshire, developed M.O.S.S. as her major project on her way to a first class BDes (Hons) degree and the 2020 Edinburgh Napier University class medal, and she was encouraged to enter the Global Grad Show after her work was spotted on Instagram.

The project appears at the new interactive online show under the category, ‘Coping in a complex world: Supporting mental health in challenging online and offline environments’.

M.O.S.S. recognises that people doing their best to follow environmentally-friendly lifestyles can easily become disheartened and feel their personal initiatives count for little when set against the catastrophes which play out on the news.

However, the app-based project keeps motivation levels high by providing targets and allowing users to keep tabs on their own sustainable efforts, and it rewards the achievement of goals with a M.O.S.S. panel housing a mini ecosystem which can be attached to the outside of any building.

Rachel's development models

Speaking about her work, Rachel said: “A one-metre squared area of moss produces the same amount of oxygen as 78 trees.

“You are not only provided with a visual representation of your efforts but you also help purify the air, reducing air pollution one M.O.S.S. panel at a time.

“I am very proud of the project and also proud to be one of the first four graduates from Scotland to be represented on this international platform.”

Global Grad Show was launched in 2015 as an exhibition of impact-driven designs from ten universities, but has grown quickly.

Tadeu Baldani Caravieri, director of Global Grad Show, said: “The diversity of the community of young talented researchers we bring together at Global Grad Show has many facets: they span across six continents, institutions from Ivy League to regional colleges and disciplines from bioengineering through to architecture.

“They do have however, a reassuring common denominator: they investigate problems, social and environmental, that matter for everyone.

“Today we present 100 projects that are, in essence, alternatives and remedies put forward by our global community of graduates whose ambition is to create a future-ready world.”

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